Client: The Trustees of The Marlowe Theatre
Completed: 2021
Category: Heritage Walls
Contract Duration: 12 Weeks
Architect: Clague LLP The Whitworth Co-partnership
What we did...
  • Restoration & Conservation
  • Stone Masonry & Repairs
  • Brickwork Repairs
  • Specialist Brick Sourcing
  • Specialist Services

USL were appointing by the Client (Trustees of The Marlowe), Clague Architects and Historic England to undertake the restoration, repairs and repointing on the historic Scheduled Monument, boundary wall at Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury. The Marlowe is a major 1,200-seat venue and one of the country’s leading regional cultural establishments.

The boundary wall is part of the Schedule Monument of Black Friars which was an extensive friary of the Dominican Order in Kent. Founded in 1237, it lay either side of the River Stour in the west of the city, adjacent to where the Marlowe Theatre now stands.

The project was challenging owing to previous repairs done at different times using different mortars.  The medieval wall was built in the 14th century and repaired between the 17th century and 20th century.  USL were tasked with colour matching several different shades of grey through to black pointing on the Marlowe theatre side.  USL were pleased to be able to source handmade imperial bricks in 3 different shades to blend in the new brickwork to the existing fabric, allowing for sensitive conservation techniques.

In addition to standard facing brick; USL provided saddleback brick specials including ‘Beckley orange and red imperials’, and ‘Henley Black imperials’.  We were able to add specialist coping bricks that had been lost over the years. We proud ourselves on our sensitive conservation techniques and specialist supply chain whilst reusing original elements where possible.

A large portion of the restoration to the boundary wall included working within the ‘residential side of the wall’, where members of the public had access to their homes. For example, one resident had a new brick panel installed over the existing gate.  USL took great care in providing all works with minimal disruption to the public.

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